International Paper Company (IP) Lifted to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of International Paper Company (NYSE:IP) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “International Paper has underperformed the industry year to date. Strength in U.S. dollars and soft macroeconomic conditions across the globe has led to volatility in raw material prices. Failure to realize synergies from acquisitions has also impacted International Paper's earnings. High pension obligations further remain another significant headwind. Earnings estimates for the current quarter and year have decreased significantly over the last couple of months, representing negative investor sentiments for the company. However, International Paper is undergoing restructuring initiatives to transform itself into a core packaging firm. It is also taking prudent steps to drive margin expansion and expects EBITDA to increase by 5% in the near future. The company intends to invest $300 million through 2017 to further improve its North American containerboard mill system, enhance product quality, and reduce manufacturing and delivery costs.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also weighed in on the company. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $65.00 target price on shares of International Paper in a research report on Monday, August 21st. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $66.00 target price on shares of International Paper in a research report on Friday, August 18th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of International Paper in a research report on Thursday, August 17th. DA Davidson raised International Paper from a neutral rating to a buy rating and lifted their target price for the company from $53.75 to $62.00 in a research report on Monday, August 14th. Finally, Barclays PLC reaffirmed a sell rating and set a $50.00 target price on shares of International Paper in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $60.27.

International Paper (IP) opened at 57.23 on Monday. International Paper has a one year low of $43.55 and a one year high of $58.95. The company has a market cap of $23.63 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.07 and a beta of 1.46. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $56.08 and its 200-day moving average price is $54.51.

International Paper (NYSE:IP) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The basic materials company reported $0.65 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.64 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $5.77 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.72 billion. International Paper had a return on equity of 27.09% and a net margin of 3.73%. International Paper’s revenue was up 8.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.92 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that International Paper will post $3.46 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, November 15th will be given a dividend of $0.475 per share. This is a positive change from International Paper’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.46. This represents a $1.90 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.32%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 14th. International Paper’s dividend payout ratio is currently 93.91%.

In related news, insider Gregory T. Wanta sold 1,044 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.22, for a total transaction of $57,649.68. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Corporate insiders own 0.63% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vantage Financial Partners Ltd. Inc. acquired a new position in International Paper during the 2nd quarter valued at about $424,000. IHT Wealth Management LLC increased its position in International Paper by 26.8% during the 2nd quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,310 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $650,000 after buying an additional 277 shares in the last quarter. FNY Partners Fund LP grew its stake in International Paper by 166.7% during the 1st quarter. FNY Partners Fund LP now owns 2,000 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $101,000 after purchasing an additional 1,250 shares during the last quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC grew its stake in International Paper by 2.4% during the 2nd quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 2,043 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $107,000 after purchasing an additional 47 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Ffcm LLC grew its stake in International Paper by 148.0% during the 2nd quarter. Ffcm LLC now owns 2,081 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $119,000 after purchasing an additional 1,242 shares during the last quarter. 83.07% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About International Paper

International Paper Company is a paper and packaging company with primary markets and manufacturing operations in North America, Europe, Latin America, Russia, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The Company’s segments include Industrial Packaging, Global Cellulose Fibers, Printing Papers and Consumer Packaging.

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Analyst Recommendations for International Paper (NYSE:IP)

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